I have my google alerts set to update me whenever this phrase is used in the media. The interesting thing is: virtually every alert points to the character in a movie, play, or (as in the one below) a book. Never a real person.
Does this mean that controlling women only appear in fiction, not real life? Uh… no. if we tried to make this claim, our husbands and kids might have something to say.
Control is a problem that many of us share; we just don’t talk about it. Some of us don’t see it. None of us want to own it.
Unwritten Controlling Woman Rule
There are other negative behaviors and struggles which are permissible to own and share. For instance, I’ve heard many women in prayer groups or Bible studies or among friends, say, “Please pray for me. I really struggle with anger.” Or, “I’m asking God to help me with my anxiety.” Or, “I know I’m a perfectionist…” But I’ve never heard a woman say, “Please pray for me; I’m a really controlling woman.”
The only thing worse than saying this about ourselves, would be to have someone else say it about us!
We’re fine with laughing or rolling our eyes, or even groaning in disgust at some obsessively controlling woman in a movie or book. But to be her in real life? None of us want that. So we’ve created an unwritten rule among the sisterhood of human beings.
It’s fine to call women “controlling” in fiction; it’s not allowed in real life. Just check my google alerts.
This presents a problem. If we don’t see our control issues, and those who love us most aren’t allowed to file a complaint about our control issues, then how are our control issues ever going to go away?
Ummm… they aren’t.
I can tell you from experience that Control is a stubborn roadblock of a problem. It will keep us stuck, both personally and in our relationships for as long as we let it. Our control problem is never going to budge or shrink or evaporate on it’s own. No, if we want change, we’re going to have to own it.
Sisters, please join me in saying, “Hi, my name is _______, and I am a Control Girl.”
I’m a Control Girl
I can’t tell you what a difference it’s made in my own home and relationships to name this problem I have with control, and to give those closest to me permission to say, “Mom, you’re acting like a Control Girl!” (Actually, when Control Girl released in Spanish, my husband started calling me a Controladora which almost always makes me smile.)
The first step is recognizing that control isn’t just her problem. It isn’t just a fictional problem. It’s not just a small problem. Control is my problem and if I don’t do something, it has potential to wreak havoc on my relationships, my health, my work… my whole life!
That’s the bad news. Here’s the good: No woman has to be a Control Girl. There’s a way to lay down your burden and find rest, security, and joy in knowing that there is Someone in control—which means you don’t have to be.
Want to Lay Down Your Control-Burden?
In Control Girl, I wrote, “God never intended for us to carry around the burden of trying to control everything. He designed us to live in sweet surrender to him, trusting him with all that seems to threaten our future happiness.” (Control Girl, page 15).
I’d love for you to consider my study, “Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible”. Come visit controlgirl.com and see if this nine week study might be right for you or your group.
(Still wondering whether or not you’re a Control Girl? Take the quiz here.)
God never intended for us to carry around the burden of trying to control everything. He designed us to live in sweet surrender to him, trusting him with all that seems to threaten our future happiness. Click To Tweet
Learn more about Control Girl at www.ControlGirl.com.
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